WigJig Jewelry Tools Presents our Jewelry Making Newsletter -- AKA Boomer Sez:
Our Spokesdog: If an insurance company can have a gecko, we have decided that we can have a spokesdog. Boomer, shown at right, is our spokesdog. If you select Boomer's picture at right, you will be able to view Boomer at work.
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Birthstone for November: The birthstone for November is the Topaz. The natural color for Topaz is clear, but many varieties of Topaz can be found in nature with a yellow or light brown color. The blue topaz stones shown at right were mined from the earth, but the blue color is not a natural color. The blue color for topaz results from irradiation of a natural yellow topaz. (Please note that there is no residual radiation left in the gemstones after they have been irradiated.) Topaz has a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale making it harder than most naturally occurring dust. This means that topaz is suitable for use in all types of jewelry including rings. Please select the picture above-right if you would like to view our selection of natural, mined blue topaz or blue topaz colored man-made cubic zirconia gemstones. Please select here for more information on topaz.
Price Increase on Silver-Plated Artistic Wire:
Artistic Wire has announced a price increase effective the 1st of November. Their silver-plated wire will increase in price from $4.55 (US) per spool to $4.90 (US) per spool. Unfortunately, we will have to reprice our Artistic Wire to these new prices effective on November 7th. This will allow three days of shopping at the old price. Their non-tarnish brass, copper and vinyl coated copper will remain at the current price.
Caution to International Travelers: Imagine that you are in a foreign country with a broken bone and they take your money, they take your clothes, they take your identification and they leave you completely immobile and out of touch with anyone who speaks your language for days. No books to read, no television to watch, no radio and no one to talk to. Food was available, but it wasn't palatable. This starts to sound like what happened to John McCain as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Unfortunately, this time, it is what happened to a cruise ship passenger on a Holland American cruise ship. Mary Alice Mackey, Boomer's Mother in Law, broke her leg near the hip in the middle of the Pacific Ocean during a cruise. The cruise ship placed her in the ship's infirmary for two days until they got into port in Hakodate, Japan. Once in port, the cruise ship made arrangements to transfer Ms Mackey to a hospital in that town. In the process of moving Ms Mackey off the cruise ship, the Port Agent for the cruise ship was given Ms Mackey's possessions including all of her money, her passport, her purse and her clothes and luggage. The well intentioned agent made arrangements to have Ms Mackey admitted to the hospital and placed Ms Mackey's possessions in secure storage. Unfortunately the Port Agent neglected to provide Ms Mackey with any of her funds, or her passport, nor did he inform Ms Mackey that he was retaining her possessions in secure storage. Unfortunately, Ms Mackey was left with no possessions in a hospital where no one spoke her language, not a doctor, not a nurse, no one. One day later the cruise ship sailed from Hakodate leaving Ms Mackey with a broken leg, no passport, no clothes or money, and no one to talk to. Legally, the cruise ship had completed their requirement to get the injured passenger to a medical facility. Unfortunately, because of language difficulties it was not a hospital that could adequately treat Ms Mackey. A little over one week after landing in Hakodate, Japan, Ms Mackey died of a blood clot resulting either from the broken bone, or from a surgery to repair the broken bone performed seven days after she arrived in the hospital.
Please note that we are not asking for your sympathy. This is a very sad situation, but sympathy is not our purpose in describing this situation. Our goal is to share a lesson learned the hard way in the hopes that it may spare someone from a similar fate. Ms Mackey left on this trip with travel insurance, but the policy did not cover an air ambulance to return her to her home in the US. During this ordeal, we priced an air ambulance and learned that Ms Mackey would have to pay between $60,000 and $100,000 to get home to a US hospital. It seems in retrospect that had Ms Mackey been immediately flown to a medical facility where she could speak the same language as the doctors and nurses, she might be alive today. This isn't certain, but what is absolutely certain is that Ms Mackey would have suffered much less and would have received better medical care in a facility where she could communicate with the medical staff. That much is absolutely certain. We don't believe that the doctors and nurses in Hakodate were second rate, but we do believe that Ms Mackey received second rate medical care because of the language and cultural barriers. Here is the point in this long story -- don't let this happen to you. Here is our recommendation to everyone who is considering international travel -- get trip insurance for that specific trip and ensure that the travel insurance specifically covers an air ambulance if necessary. It could save your life. If you search on Google using the term "travel insurance" you will find many firms selling this type of insurance. Anyone can break a bone. It may happen in one of many types of accidents. Please remember, having the right kind of travel insurance could be the difference between life and death.